From Los Roques, Venezuela

b2ap3_thumbnail_fb_0001_Blg_1_LOS-ROQUES-20130177.jpgThis is our second day at Los Roques, Venezuela. Weather is beautiful, town is quiet. We're a little bit a head of the tourist season. We're all getting lots of shots at bonefish on the pancake flats and the migratory tarpon are beginning to show in the harbor. Yesterday we jumped one that went about 60 pounds - we're going back there today.

The one thing I was reminded of yesterday was to be barefoot on the deck. I thought we were wading so I had on my flats boots and then we found some baby tarpon along the mangroves so we fished from the boat and I was constantly standing on my line because I couldn't feel it. I finally stopped, took off my boots and fished barefoot, much better. After a while I put on socks because the sun was pretty intense and didn't want to get burned. This is much like snook fishing, they appear and you have to cast quickly. Being ready on deck, fly in hand, line under control and ready to go. It's easy in the breeze to have the fly tangled around the standing line or the line sliding off the deck, there's a thousand things that can go wrong and it will go wrong. You don't get a second first chance.

We found a flock of flamingos. It was a nice contrast from the Pileated Woodpecker that Barry photographed at home last week in the snow. b2ap3_thumbnail_fb_0002_Blg_2_LOS-ROQUES-20130222.jpg





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Preventative Winter Maintenance


Preventative Winter Maintenance

This is a good time of year to think about our tackle, especially rods and reels. There are a few things we could do now that might save us some frustration and expense later on and it will get us ready for the spring fishing – that is hopefully just around the corner.

Take a careful look at your rods & reels for anything that requires factory attention. This is a good time to send tackle in for repair. The warranty departments are often busy in prime fishing season, but can usually get repairs turned around quicker during the slower winter months.

Rods -

Examine the tip top and other guides for wear. Pay very close attention to the tip top as wear usually shows up on this guide from the line traveling in and out of the rod. The tiniest uneven spot or slight crack in the finish of the guide will ruin fly lines. Often your fly shop will have a rod repair person who can replace guides. If not you should contact the manufacturer about replacement.

The ferrule should not show any wear either. However, if the rod has been fished with loose ferrules it will eventually work into a broken ferrule. Telltale signs of this damage will be slight cracks in the female ferrule. If you see anything that looks suspicious, show it to someone at your local fly shop.

We use Simple Green on the cork rod handles. Wet the cork, spray with Simple Green, wait a minute or two, and wash off with a soft brush under clean running water. Let the rod air dry overnight to make sure all moisture is gone before putting it back in the tube for storage.

Pledge Wipes work well on the blank to restore a nice clean finish.

Reels -

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for reel lube. Depending on the drag system, your reel may not require and lube.

Look for corrosion on any screw heads, but especially on the reel foot. If you find anything that looks like it could be corrosion or lead to it, clean the area carefully with WD40 using a Q-tip or soft toothbrush (but not your wife's).

We use Pledge wipes on the outside of the reels to wipe away any dirt and to add a nice clean finish.

Look carefully at the line guard where the line comes off the reel to make sure it is not worn. Even the smallest grove made from the line wearing against the guard can make a sharp edge that can ruin the line.

Turn off all drags. If the drag is left on it can weaken over time.

Fly Lines -

All fly lines should be checked for wear and then put away clean for the winter. Use the manufacturer's suggested line cleaner. We prefer RIO's AgentX Line Dressing. Modern fly lines should never be cleaned with WD40 or Mucilin. Our lines today have sophisticated coatings which require sophisticated line cleaners.

To clean, pull as much line off the reel as you usually cast. Lay it in loose large coils on the floor. (If you have a pet cat, put him in another room.) With a clean paper towel put a squeeze of cleaner in the towel and pull the line through it working toward the leader. When you get to the end, fold the towel to a dry spot and pull the line back through. Wind it back on the reel.

Be watchful of cracks and rough spots in the line. If during the fishing season the line came in contact with Deet (di-ethyl-toluamide) from insect repellents, the line will appear as dry and cracked. Unfortunately, it will continue to deteriorate and will need to be replaced. A burr or crack in the rod tip or guide will also ruin your fly line. The leader or tippet can cut through the line if it gets tangled. This usually happens when a frustrated angler pulls on the mono and it cuts into the soft coating on the line. Modern lines are expensive and care should be taken to help them last as long as possible.

Before fishing in the spring replace your tippet material and leaders. Never store these items in the light. Keep them in your vest, desk drawer, or gear bag. Ultraviolet light will cause the mono to weaken and you'll loose knot strength. Always start with fresh leaders on your fly lines and fresh spools in your vest.

By taking time now to look over our equipment, we can save time later in costly repairs, replacements, or fish lost.

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Join our Connect Community!

connect logo

We've just added a photo album to our Connect page from our recent trip to Tres Valles, Argentina, for you to enjoy. For those of you who have been here with us, you know what a beautiful destination this is.

As part of our new website Connect Community, we ask that you become a subscriber in order to enjoy all the benefits. This way we can let you know when the blog updates, when we add photo albums, and add to the store. In general, it keeps us all in the same loop and makes check-out from the store easy. You'll also be able to share your own photos, thoughts, and experiences with each other.

It's free, it's easy and only takes a minute. Go to Our CONNECT page by clicking here
1. Click Join Us Now, It's FREE
2. Fill in your information, agree to the terms and click Next
3. Add as much information to your profile as you'd like, and click Register
4. You can now add a photo for your profile, or just click skip
5. You will receive an email to activate your account with Connect. Click on the link to activate your account to be able to Log In.

Thanks for joining and welcome to our Community! We look forward to hearing from you!

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2013 Angler's Wall Calendar


2013 Angler's Wall Calendar

Makes a great gift for your favorite Angler!

Includes September-December 2012, 4 bonus months. Start using it now!

Large boxes to record dates and special events

Moon phases, US and international holidays

North American hatch dates

$13.99 plus $6.50 shipping

Purchase a calendar and sign up for our online Connect Community & receive FREE Shipping!

  ***Price discount will be reflected at checkout***

Click here to purchase it at our online store!

All Beck photos. Calendar By Willow Creek Press

“The fly fisherman's choice since 1975”


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Tres Valles, Argentina

The view from the dining room

This has been an interesting week here at Tres Valles, Argentina. We've had a mixed bag of weather but lots of sunshine, typical of spring in Argentina. Lots of wind in the beginning of the week followed by warm sunny breezy days - perfect fishing weather - and finishing up today with very little wind, some sunshine, and some showers passing through the valley. All of the streams and spring creeks are in great shape and we've all enjoyed a new spring creek located in the next valley over. The more we visit Tres Valles, the more we love it. There is no end to exploring new water and discovering new fishing spots in this part of Patagonia. We start home tomorrow but are already looking forward to next year!

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Green Heron Fishing Video

Take a look at this Heron while he fishes.  No one will call him a bird brain.


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Agua Boa Album

I think I've got the Wordpress album figured out. Here are a few shots from our recent Agua Boa peacock bass trip. One of the best trips ever!

[caption id="attachment_2353" align="alignright" width="300"] Not bad for being in the middle of the Amazon jungle![gallery link="file" orderby="rand"]


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Green Heron Entertains Us

Take a look at this fisherman! No one will call him a "Bird Brain."
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New Site

After many months in the planning, we launched the new web site last night. We're still tweaking, of course, but excited about it. The store will grow as we add flies and put the finishing touches on it to make it as easy to use as possible. We're hopeful that the Connect Community will be a fun place for everyone to share photos, conversations, tips, comments, and stories. We welcome your suggestions and comments.

[caption id="attachment_2245" align="alignleft" width="199"] Joe Zona with a very nice peacock bass.

We got home from the Amazon last Sunday night. We had a great trip. Lots of fish, water was in great shape, and amazing stories to tell by all. We broke the lodge record for broken rods (I don't know if that is something we should talk too much about). We had a group of good fishermen but the bass were rested, hungry and determined to test our skills and tackle!

We fished the river and the lagoons and  found fish everywhere we went. We had long fishing days. If you want, you can cast continuously all day. As they say, keep your fly in the water and keep it moving.

Thank you to Frontiers for organizing the departure and to Agua Boa Amazon Lodge. We'll see you next year!


[gallery orderby="rand"]

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New Site Launches Next Week

[caption id="attachment_2229" align="alignleft" width="300"] Destinations

After many many months of working on the new web site we are ready to launch. Next week, hopefully Tuesday, is our date. This is a complete remake with  everything new. I'll let you know the exact day and hope you have a few minutes to take a look.

Since I've been very negligent in keeping our old site up to date, I'll list our schedule of trips here.

Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2012 - Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)


  • Jan. 12-19 - Los Roques, Venezuela (bones, permit, tarpon)

  • Feb. 3-22 - South Island, New Zealand (trout)

  • Mar. 5-23 - Patagonia, Argentina (trout)

  • Apr. 27-May 4 - Bahamas (TBA)

  • June 2-9 - Boca Paila, Mexico (bones, permit, tarpon, snook)

  • June 18-July 1 - East Africa Safari (great migration)

  • July 13-19 - Isla Holbox, Mexico (big & little tarpon)

  • July 27-Aug. 3 - Laxardal, Iceland (brown trout)

  • August 17-24 & 24-31 - Bighorn River, Montana (trout)

  • Sept. 20-Occt. 8 - Mongolia (taimen) & Eagle Festival

  • Oct. 26-Nov. 2 - Agua Boa, Brazil (peacock bass)

  • Nov. 30 - Dec. 7 - Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)

All trips will all be on the new site with complete itineraries, but please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.

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